Equitable Sharing Program

The Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program (the Program) is a nationwide law enforcement initiative that removes the tools of crime from criminal organizations, deprives wrongdoers of the proceeds of their crimes, recovers property that may be used to compensate victims, and deters crime.

The
most important objective of the Program is law enforcement.

Equitable sharing further enhances this law enforcement objective by fostering cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

Federal law authorizes the Attorney General to share federally forfeited property with partici¬pating state and local law enforcement agencies.

The exercise of this authority is discretionary and limited by statute.

The Attorney General is not required to share property in any case.

The U.S.

Department of the Treasury administers its own Asset Forfeiture Program.

For policies and program detail, please visit the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture website www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/teoaf/.

Agency - Department of Justice

The Department of Justice enforces the law and defends the interest of the United States, ensuring public safety against threats foreign and domestic; providing Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; seeking just punishment for those guilty of unlawful pursuits; and ensuring fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.



Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 authorized federal officials to implement a national asset forfeiture program, asset forfeiture has become one of the most powerful tools for targeting criminals, including drug dealers and white collar criminals- who prey on the vulnerable for financial gain.

Forfeiture statutes are now prevalent throughout the federal legal code and their use, along with other important anti-crime measures, has had a significant impact on crime.

One of the most important provisions of asset forfeiture is the authorization to share federal forfeiture proceeds with cooperating state and local law enforcement agencies.

The Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program serves not only to deter crime but also to provide valuable additional resources to state and local law enforcement agencies.

The Guide to Equitable Sharing for State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies "Guide", as revised from time to time, serves to promote and maintain the integrity of the equitable sharing program so that it can continue to merit public confidence and support.

The Guide is supplemented with the National Code of Professional Conduct for Asset Forfeiture (see Appendix B) and all seizing and prosecutorial agencies must ensure compliance with the Code.

The Guide seeks to assist state and local law enforcement agencies participating in the program by clarifying the directives they must follow to obtain and use equitably shared funds.

The goal is to make the process as clear as possible so that local communities and the nation can thrive from reduced crime and from quality law enforcement.

Except as noted in the Guide, equitably shared funds must be used by law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes only.

Subject to laws, rules, regulations, and orders of the state or local juris¬diction governing the use of public funds available for law enforcement purposes, specified expenses are pre-approved as permissible uses of shared funds and property.

To avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest, any employee of any federal, state, or local governmental agency (or members of his or her immediate family or those residing in his or her household) who was involved in the investigation which led to the forfeiture of the prop¬erty to be sold by the USMS contractor is prohibited from purchasing, either directly or indirectly, forfeited property.

Additionally, Department of Justice employees and contractors may not, without prior written approval of a designated agency official, directly or indirectly purchase property that has been forfeited to the United States; or personally use such property that has been directly or indirectly purchased from the United States by a member of his or her immediate family.

The fact that shared property was forfeited as a result of a particular federal violation does not limit its use.

For example, when an agency receives a share of property that was forfeited for a federal drug violation, the recipient is not limited in its use of the property in the recipient agency"s drug enforce¬ment program.

Among the permissible uses of equitable sharing funds, priority should be given to supporting community policing activities, training, and law enforcement operations.

Except as noted in the Guide, equitably shared funds must be used by law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes only.

Subject to laws, rules, regulations, and orders of the state or local juris¬diction governing the use of public funds available for law enforcement purposes, specified expenses are pre-approved as permissible uses of shared funds and property.

The fact that shared property was forfeited as a result of a particular federal violation does not limit its use.

For example, when an agency receives a share of property that was forfeited for a federal drug violation, the recipient is not limited in its use of the property in the recipient agency"s drug enforce¬ment program.

Among the permissible uses of equitable sharing funds, priority should be given to supporting community policing activities, training, and law enforcement operations.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

A state or local law enforcement agency meeting eligibility requirements set forth in the Guide and that directly participates in an investigation or prosecution that results in a federal forfeiture may request an equitable share of the net proceeds of the forfeiture.

For purposes of equitable sharing, the Department of Justice defines law enforcement agency as a state or local government organization authorized to engage in as its primary function the investigation and apprehension, or the prosecution of individuals suspected or convicted of offenses against the criminal laws of the United States or of any state, county, municipality, or territory of the United States.

A state National Guard generally does not meet the law enforcement agency criteria for participa¬tion in the Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Program because its primary mission is a military or other non-law enforcement purpose.

An individual National Guard unit, however, may qualify for sharing if: (1) It is a distinct unit of a state National Guard that has counterdrug activities as its primary mission and receives funding solely for this purpose; or (2) It is a military police or similar state National Guard unit that provides support to federal law enforcement agencies in counterdrug activities.

No sharing request or recommendation, including shares negotiated in a task force or other agree¬ment, is final until approved by the federal deciding authority.

In accordance with the Crime Victims Rights Act and the Attorney General s authority, the Department of Justice gives priority in the distribution of forfeited assets to valid owners, lien holders, federal financial regulatory agencies, and victims (in that order) through petitions for remission or mitigation or requests for restoration.

After losses to the above parties have been satisfied, any remaining net proceeds can be shared with eligible state and local law enforcement agencies.

Beneficiary Eligibility

A state or local law enforcement agency meeting eligibility requirements set forth in the Guide and that directly participates in an investigation or prosecution that results in a federal forfeiture may request an equitable share of the net proceeds of the forfeiture.

Credentials/Documentation

No sharing request or recommendation pertaining to an eligible equitable sharing participant, including shares negotiated in a task force or other agree¬ment, is final until approved by the federal deciding authority as set forth in the Guide. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. After the seizure in a joint investigation or adoption in an adoptive case, a participating state or local agency meeting all requirements set forth in the Guide may request a share of the property by submitting a Form DAG-71, Application for Transfer of Federally Forfeited Property, to the federal seizing agency. A separate Form DAG-71 must be completed for each asset to be shared. An eligible state or local law enforcement agency requesting federal adoption of a state or local seizure must comply with all applicable state laws and regulations pertaining to the transfer of seized property to a federal law enforcement agency, including any requirement for a state judicial order or prosecutorial consent (e.g., declination letter) for such transfer.

Award Procedures

Federal law authorizes the Attorney General to share federally forfeited property with partici¬pating state and local law enforcement agencies. The exercise of this authority is discretionary and limited by statute. The Attorney General is not required to share property in any case. No sharing request or recommendation is final until approved by the federal deciding authority. The equitable sharing deciding authority levels are specified in the Guide.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

The Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C 881(e); Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA), 18 U.S.C 981(e).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 120 to 180 days. Generally from 120 to 180 days after forfeiture, however longer periods may be required in complex cases.

Appeals

The exercise of this authority is discretionary and limited by statute. It is not subject to appeal or court review.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements. Equitable Sharing funds are eligible to cover the costs associated with paying a state or local law enforcement agency"s matching contribution or share in a federal grant program, provided that the grant funds are used for a permissible law enforcement purpose in accordance with the Guide or where such use is authorized by federal law. Equitable Sharing awards have Non-supplanting requirements.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not Applicable. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds are disbursed to participating agencies upon approval of individual asset sharing decisions.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

To ensure effective management, promote public confidence in the integrity of the Equitable Sharing Program, and protect the Program against potential waste, fraud, and abuse, the Department of Justice has established reporting requirements for participating law enforcement agencies that include the annual submission of the Equitable Sharing Agreement and Certification form and, if applicable, an audit report.

A state or local law enforcement agency must be in compliance with the report¬ing requirements set forth in this Guide to receive any distribution of money or property under the Equitable Sharing Program.

As a prerequisite to participating in the Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Program, a state or local law enforcement agency must annually submit to AMIL"S a signed Equitable Sharing Agreement and Certification form.

The agreement must be signed by the head of the law enforcement agency and a designated official of the governing body.

By signing the Affidavit, the signatories agree to be bound by the statutes and guidelines that regulate the equitable sharing program and certify that the law enforcement agency will comply with these guidelines and statutes.

State and local law enforcement agencies must submit this form within 60 days after the end of an agency"s fiscal year, regardless of whether funds were received or maintained during the fiscal year.

The report must be completed electronically and emailed to aca.submit@usdoj.gov.

Please see description under "Program Report".

Please see description under "Program Report".

Please see description under "Program Report".

Performance monitoring is not applicable.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records

Financial records, supporting documents, and all other records pertinent to equitable sharing shall be retained for a period of 5 years following the conclusion of Federal assistance.

Financial Information

Account Identification

15-5042-0-2-752 - Asset Forfeiture Fund, Equitable Sharing.

Obigations

(Direct Payments for Specified Use (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 12 Not Available; FY 13 Estimate Not Available; and FY 14 Estimate Not Available

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Guide to Equitable Sharing for State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (April 2009).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

AFMLS ACA 1400 New York Ave, NW, Washington DC, District of Columbia 20005 Email: AFMLS.ACA@usdoj.gov Phone: 202-514-1263

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.



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